When purchasing a product or service, it’s a natural instinct to examine its features and characteristics to determine what it can do that its competitors cannot. Marketing your aging services organization is no different. Think about what sets your organization apart from the competition, by either doing something better than they do or something that they don’t do at all. This is your competitive advantage. It’s a crucial component of your marketing strategy. Identifying it, however, can be more challenging than one might expect. Luckily, there are several strategies you can employ to determine what makes you special.
Conducting interviews with residents or patients, their families, and even staff can be a relatively easy method of identifying what your organization does well – perhaps even illuminating strengths you didn’t know you had. Perhaps you’ll find that your on-site library has a collection that residents marvel over, and you had no idea since you weren’t the one that stocked the books. Now you have a new bullet point for your promotional materials. You may discover that your medical staff is better at communicating problems and administering treatment than most primary care physicians that residents had before moving in. There you have another competitive advantage.
A SWOT Analysis
You may have probably heard of SWOT analyses before. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Conducting a SWOT analysis of your organization is a simple way to start down the path of discovering your competitive analysis. Consider conducting a brainstorm session with your staff or partners.
On a whiteboard or something similar, draw a square and separate it into four segments and start filling them in. You may start to find things you excel at – perhaps your organization has a beautiful campus that people will be drawn to, or you have an award-winning on-site medical staff. You may also start to find areas where you aren’t so strong, for example you may serve subpar food. Don’t worry, identifying these problem areas can help you determine areas to improve into new competitive advantages. The same goes for opportunities. Perhaps there is a grant you can apply for which, if secured, could be put towards hiring a proficient chef, thus creating a new competitive advantage from the ashes of a weakness.
It may seem obvious but doing a thorough examination of competing organizations can be very revealing. You may discover that some features and amenities you assumed were commonplace in such organizations are actually severely lacking among your competition. Maybe you never mentioned laundry service in your promotional materials because you assumed every place offered it, or didn’t advertise that your maintenance services are free because you didn’t know other places charged residents for them. Taking a thorough inventory of your offerings vs. theirs can be a simple yet eye-opening strategy.
Consider these strategies when trying to identify your competitive advantage, you may just discover strengths you didn’t know you had! Stay tuned to our blog for more industry tips and insights.